17 January, 2018


Students from Bexhill came together last week to continue the Be the Change programme sponsored by Hastings Direct, in partnership with

Meeting at the Hastings Centre, year 9 students from Bexhill Academy took part in the Stepping Up conference, becoming role models to year 6 children from Glenleigh Park Primary Academy, King Offa Primary Academy and St Peter and St Paul Primary School. Together they followed an exploration into the development of life skills such as communicating with others, working within groups and understanding the effect of behaviour.

Tackling issues that asked the students to push themselves out of their comfort zones, the 13 and 14 year olds were encouraged to mix with peers they would not usually choose to interact with. They were encouraged to make conversation with the adult business mentors and explore the benefits of taking these skills forward into their working life, as well as the importance to adopt them in their personal lives.

Miss Holder, teacher at St Peter and St Paul Primary School said; “The Stepping Up conference was a thoroughly engaging afternoon, giving the children great opportunities to realise how their actions can affect others and how negatives can be rectified. The children were all taught that their uniqueness should be valued.”

Mr Brazier, Pastoral Manager, Bexhill Academy added; “It’s been great to see the effects of the Stepping Up conference and witnessing the students already implementing what they have learnt and the greater level of involvement of all the students taking part.”

Jay Wootten, Community Relations Manager, Hastings Direct said; “It was testament to both the students and teachers to see the maturity of the pupils from four different Bexhill schools at the Be the Change – Stepping Up conference. They all came together to mentor and help each other in the education journey that lays ahead of them.”

Be the Change aims to raise the aspirations of year 9 students (aged 13-14), helping them to remove barriers that may make them disengaged at school and provide them with life skills to take into the future.

Jose Noya, Business Volunteer, Hastings Direct said; “The Stepping Up conference was a fantastic and inspiring day. To see the students grow and help the younger children was such a privilege to witness and to see a genuine willingness from the students that they wanted to help. It was brilliant to hear the other mentors’ views at the end of the day in terms of the breakthroughs the students made and how inspiring the day was to us as all.”

Speaking directly to the students throughout the day, Graham Moore, Co-Founder of Be the Change and humanutopia reflected; “The Stepping Up conference was an amazing day. It was great to see the positive attitude and maturity of the year 9 students from Bexhill Academy. They showed responsibility, trust and pride beyond their years when the students from Glenleigh Park, King Offa and St Peter and St Paul joined them. The business volunteers from Hastings Direct again offered trusted guidance and support to the young people and they should be proud of the difference they are making.”

Gary Peters, Founder of said; “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Hastings Direct and the way in which they have embraced our Be the Change programme. They work with us to guarantee the maximum positive impact on local students, whilst offering their employees this unique chance to give back to the local community and to grow and develop on both a personal and professional level.”

Further information

Natalie Sadlier, PR Manager Hastings Direct
Tel: 01424 735 735 extn. 8225

About Hastings Direct

Hastings Direct is a fast growing, agile, data and digitally focused general insurance provider to the UK market, with over 2.6 million live customer policies and employing over 3,000 colleagues at sites in Bexhill and Leicester. Hastings Direct has built its business by providing refreshingly straightforward customer service and products and offer car, bike, van and home insurance directly to the public.

Hastings Direct is a trading name of Hastings Insurance Services Limited, the UK trading subsidiary of Hastings Group Holdings plc, which also trades via “People’s Choice” and “insurePink”.

For more information about Hastings Direct please visit:

About & Be the Change has an award winning family of regional job boards in Sussex and Surrey. It works proactively to link businesses, universities, colleges and schools, public sector, charities and community groups and other organisations to create and promote local employment opportunities in the South East, whilst also providing much needed careers, information, advice and guidance to local businesses and job-seekers alike.

In 2015 launched inspirational initiative Be the Change with the expertise of Graham Moore of humanutopia. Be the Change is an inspirational initiative for young people who may be disengaged with their education or lack confidence in their own abilities. The programme focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability and, through a series of conferences, workshops, 1:1 sessions and workplace visits, encourages students to identify their personal barriers to success, before helping them find ways of overcoming them.

Working in partnership with businesses, Be the Change helps open young people’s eyes to the world of work and the wealth of possibilities and career opportunities in their hometown and beyond. Be the Change provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to engage with their future workforce, building awareness of their employer brand amongst young people in their local area and providing an innovative way of providing fulfilling and meaningful personal development opportunities for their employees.

For more information, email or visit


17 January, 2018